Sea Change

Image credit: Benjamin M. Schmidt, Creating Data (2018), used in The Human Planet, How we created the Anthropocene, by Simon L Lewis and Mark A Maslin. Diagram of 19th century shipping routes (1820-60) that incidentally show the outlines of the continents.

Working with Invisible Dust since May 2022 to curate a significant new programme of artworks and events highlighting sustainability in the light of the climate crisis which will be presented at the Royal Docks, London, from 11-29 May 2023.

Sea Change is a three-week event bringing together international artists with leading UCL academics, inspired by research into sustainable responses to the current climate emergency. Four new commissions will be exhibited by Simon Faithfull, Melanie Manchot, Dana Olărescu and Raqs Media Collective. The season also draws from the fascinating historical context of the Royal Docks.

‘Sea Change’ is a term used for a substantial shift in situation or perspective and was first used in Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’, a play with a background, like the Royal Docks, of sea voyages, developing globalisation and colonialism. Sea Change points to the future, to the need for changing practices, but also alludes to a pivot point of the climate crisis in the dock’s history – the move from sail to steam power. This development led to an enormous expansion in London’s trade and exchange of goods and peoples, which enabled modern day industrialisation, globalisation and with it the problems of climate change. 

Linking future-facing science and research into sustainable solutions to climate change, biodiversity loss, energy, and urban futures, to the specific histories of the Docks’ site, this season of artists’ commissions highlights the need for a ‘sea change’ in order to face the future sustainably.

More information here.

Melanie Manchot: still from Flotilla, 2023, courtesy the artist and Parafin, London and Galerie m, Bochum.
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